North Carolina To Try And Ban Community Fiber Today – Whether your town or city likes it or not…

When it comes to cable access, more choice is definitely a good thing for the consumer …

Stop The Cap notes that Time Warner Cable and friends have returned to their efforts to ban North Carolina communities from wiring themselves with fiber. Loyal lawmakers in the State today plan to introduce a bill that would impose a “moratorium” on municipal broadband deployment (even if a town or city votes to build a network). Like most bills of this type, the bill has yet to be made public for debate — and is intended to be rushed through the legislative process sometime today to avoid pesky public input:

On Wednesday, Senators David Hoyle and Daniel Clodfelter will introduce a bill expected to stall community broadband projects across the state. The bill, which has yet to be seen by the public, should appear in the Revenue Laws Study Committee, co-chaired by Clodfelter. We have heard the bill faces mere minutes of consideration before a quick vote, in hopes of moving it forward before the public finds out what elected officials are doing on their behalf.

What has incumbent broadband providers and their loyal politicians so afraid? A number of fiber to the home municipal developments that have been taking off in the state. Wilson, North Carolina launched a $28 million municipal broadband operation named Greenlight last year, offering symmetrical speeds up to 100Mbps. Other cities like Salisbury began exploring the option too. Both will offer services that far surpass what local incumbents AT&T and Time Warner Cable are willing to offer locals.

Again, people are free to argue the merits of whether a community should get into the broadband business all they’d like — but if the locals decide they’d like to go that route because incumbents are not providing adequate service — that should be the local citizen’s choice — not yours, and not Time Warner Cable’s. If these markets had more competition (something companies like Time Warner Cable and AT&T fight tooth and nail against at every turn), these communities wouldn’t be in this position to begin with.
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